As many as 56 residents of Gujarat arrived in Ahmedabad on Friday after being evacuated from Sudan under the Indian government’s ‘Operation Kaveri’.
Of the 56 Gujarat residents, 44 were brought to Ahmedabad in two buses arranged by the state government, while 12 reached the city on their own, according to an official release. The majority of these evacuees are from Rajkot district, with others hailing from Gandhinagar, Anand, and Vadodara.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi, who also handles the Non-Resident Gujaratis (NRG) division of the government, said the state had been in constant touch with the Ministry of External Affairs to identify and evacuate Gujarat natives stranded in Sudan.
The evacuees expressed their gratitude to the authorities for safely bringing them back from the strife-torn African country.
The residents were part of a group of 246 Indians, hailing from 18 states, including Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, who were brought to Mumbai by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Thursday afternoon.
The evacuees, including several elderly persons, were welcomed by Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi at the Ahmedabad Circuit House. They will now be sent to their respective destinations across Gujarat in state transport buses arranged by the government.
The returnees thanked the Centre and the Gujarat government for rescuing them from the violence-hit country. “Life became very difficult in Sudan due to the fighting between their rival forces, which led to a shortage of food and water. Incidents of theft, murder, and loot were also taking place. We thank the Centre as well as the state government for evacuating us safely,” said one of the returnees.
Under ‘Operation Kaveri’, India has been evacuating its citizens in buses from conflict zones in Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan.
From there, they are being transported to the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah in IAF’s heavy-lift transport aircraft and Indian Navy ships. Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group, which has reportedly left around 400 people dead.